And not just garden variety crazy, like the woman at work who talks to herself while moving about the hallways. But CERTIFIABLE. PADDED ROOM. MEDICATED. CRAZY.
You see, I never had pets growing up. Except the hamster, Hannibal. Whom we are NOT talking about. I don't blame my mom; she had five kids. Keeping anything else alive was going above and beyond the call of duty.
I had two black cats when I lived in Germany. But we're not talking about them either.
All in all, I never thought I'd end up with pets.
There was a Cookie. A Border Collie with whom we had a very brief association with back in 2002. Curt was a baby; Cookie was an untamed force. Cookie pancaked Curt on a regular basis and dug tunnels to China in our small back yard. We found Cookie a very nice ranch to live on and she was happy as a dog....
That strengthened my conviction that I'd never had a dog.
But I've learned NEVER to say NEVER.
When I was teaching preschool at Trinity Day School in Beaumont, the teacher in the classroom next to mine brought in a basket of puppies. Someone had dropped them on the rural road where she lived. Abandoned. She let the 3 year olds manhandle them all day. Those puppies were so sweet and docile. Little bundles of soft fur and sweet breath. By the end of the day, she'd found homes for all of them. But I couldn't get those little puppies out of my mind.
Until one day the following week, when I substituted in a classroom I wasn't supposed to have taught in that day. One of the puppies had been returned. Not because it was a BAD puppy, but because the person who took him was trying to sell him; and my teacher-friend had no intention of these precious puppies being sold. She only wanted to find them good homes. So I thought.
And I thought.
And thought some more.
I wanted that puppy. I called hubby and he agreed.
The little ball of energy was Jack.
But we're not talking about him.
OK, well maybe just briefly. I loved Jack. He was the sweetest little Beagle mix ever. I think he loved me too. Jack turned me into a dog lover. The dogs next door loved Jack, too. Three Labs and a pit bull mix used to dig under the chain link fence between our house and theirs and come Army crawling into our yard to have doggie play dates. Hubby was diligent about filling up the holes, but three Labs, one pit bull mix and a beagle mix are hard to keep up with. One night Jack tunneled out through a hole under the fence and escaped through the neighbor's open gate.
And that's all I have to say about that.
After Jack, I swore I would NEVER get another dog. Until I was browsing a local classified website and found an ad for someone to PLEASE give a sick and abandoned puppy a loving home. A few hours later, we were the proud owners of Jill, an Italian greyhound/boxer/whippet....(insert your guess here) bundle of personality.
Best. Dog. Ever.
In the spring of 2009, after we moved to Tyler, Curt wanted to play soccer. The soccer season was a bit challenging for him, so as incentive, he earned "Puppy Points," working toward the reward he wanted more than anything: a puppy he could pick up all by himself.
He earned those points and Tickles joined the family.
Well now, Jill doesn't live with us any more.
I posted on Facebook one night that I'd LOVE either a German shepherd or a Jack Russell. A friend messaged me almost immediately and told me that a friend of HERS had just had a German shepherd mix abandoned on her property.
Meet Gretel, our 16-week-old German shepherd mix (if we had to guess, probably a collie of some sort).
Gretel is almost IMPOSSIBLE to photograph because she NEVER. STOPS. MOVING. She's kinetic energy at its best.
So with two dogs again, our family was complete.
Until last week.
When we took Gretel to the vet for routine shots. And the vet mentions that just that very day, they'd picked up a sweet German shepherd puppy dodging traffic on Shiloh Road in Tyler. Did I want to see her?
Was I sure?
Well my resolve lasted approximately 2.8 seconds.
Two days later, after giving her owners enough time to come find her, we picked up Shiloh (what else could we name her?) and brought her home. Seven months old and 52 pounds of sweetness.
She and Gretel get along famously. Just like sisters already.
He just kind of runs with the pack.
Let me be clear: I will PROBABLY not get any more pets. Three fish, three dogs and two boys is more than enough to keep alive.
But let me also be clear: to whoever owned Shiloh before we did: you're NEVER getting her back. And I can say that with certainty.